How an Art School Can Help You Pursue a Professional UX Design Career

User experience (UX) designers are responsible for making digital products and interfaces intuitive and easy to understand. If you’re interested in working with software, websites, and apps, having a degree from an art school can help you pursue this career path.

UX designers wear quite a few hats on the job. The amount of time you spend wearing each hat partly depends on which area of UX design you decide to specialize in. Some students focus on user research and testing, while others prefer to work on visual design.

No matter what part of UX design you enjoy more, keep in mind that you’ll be expected to have some education and experience in all aspects of UX design. In general, the UX process includes product research, concept design, and finally creation of the product. Learn more about the demands of a UX design career and how to get started.

Choose Your Academic Programs and Courses Wisely

There’s a specific skill set that UX designers must possess, no matter the degree they may be taking. You will still have to know about the design fundamentals, regardless if you’re on a marketing or programming track.

Some useful areas of study include web design, graphic design, and visual development. Web design helps you develop valuable technical skills, while graphic design teaches you critical design principles. Visual development hones your eye for character design, environment and prop design, and visual story elements. Web and mobile game design are also crucial elements. Taken together, all of these can enhance your work.

Start Building a Portfolio  

A well-curated portfolio is a huge help when applying for UX design positions. It’s a great complement to your hard-earned art degree. Ideally, a strong portfolio contains mock projects that display your skills in design and programming. Other relevant elements include an improved user experience design for hypothetical users. Classwork is also a great opportunity to build projects for your portfolio.

Schools like Academy of Art University emphasize portfolio development in their curriculum. Industry events like Spring Show or IDEATE also showcase student work before top companies.

Look for a Mentor

Since this is a career that involves a wide range of skills, there’s always more to learn in UX design . Finding a mentor can help you gain a better understanding of the industry and career expectations. A mentor can also provide you with training, inspiration, and networking advice.

Curious about a career in UX design and how an art degree can help you achieve your goals? Reach out to Academy of Art University via email at or call 415.274.2222 for more information.